CODE RED mega bad air in Delaware this week

The Delaware Valley is having another episode of seriously-health-threatening air pollution Recommendations from Green Delaware:

 

(1)       Delaware needs to begin using an air quality reporting system that takes into account the combined effects of multiple air pollutants, and the combined effects of air pollutants, temperature, and humidity;

(2)      Delaware needs to require air polluters to dial down their emissions during bad air episodes; and

(3)      Delaware needs to stop promoting activities that worsen air quality, such as the reopening of the Markell/Coons Refinery and the building of a new “301” freeway  The health of residents needs higher priority.

Do you agree?  Let Governor Markell knowjack.markell@state.de.us, 800.292.9570

“Summary:

A very bad air quality week. Ozone may reach Code Red levels by Tuesday.  PM may reach Code Orange by Tuesday-Wednesday. No clear end in sight for this episode.

Excessive heat warning in effect until 8 PM EDT Wednesday…

–National Weather Service

Sunday, of course, was CODE ORANGE plus fireworks.

“Monday, July 5th, is an Air Quality Action Day! Ozone concentrations will reach the Code Orange range and scattered locations in northern Delaware are at risk of brief periods reaching the Code Red range.  PM concentrations will increase to the top of the moderate range.
–DNREC

Tuesday is a CODE RED day:

NORTHERN DELAWARE
(New Castle County including City of Wilmington)

Ozone:  CODE RED (UNHEALTHY)
Fine Particles (PM2.5): CODE ORANGE (UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS)

_________________________________________________________

SOUTHERN DELAWARE
(Kent and Sussex Counties including City of Dover)

Ozone:  CODE ORANGE (UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS)

Fine Particles (PM2.5): CODE ORANGE (UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS)

Wednesday will be bad also:

“Summary:

Very poor air quality for both ozone and PM through Wednesday. An offshore low then drifts west and may clean out coastal regions by Thursday and Friday with poor air quality continuing further west.  There is a chance of thunderstorms both Thursday and Friday. A prefrontal case on Saturday with continued poor air quality.  A cold front may end this event early Sunday.”

“Tuesday looks just awful with high pressure centered near WV, very hot weather and light and variable winds.  Ozone concentrations will be very high, Code Orange to Code Red likely, and PM levels will also increase as weekday emissions coupled with increasing humidity
pushes PM into the Code Orange range.

More of the same Wednesday.”
Medium Range Air Quality Outlook from William Ryan

Folks:

As always we point out that the color code system doesn’t take note of the combined effects of multiple high pollutants, nor of temperature.  In Green Delaware’s opinion, Code Red for Ozone combined with Code Orange for Particles combined with extreme heat and humidity equals at least a Code Purple in the real world.  Please take care.

The official definitions are:

Code Green:  “Good”
“Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.”

Code Yellow:    “Moderate”
“Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.”

Code Orange:    “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”
“Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.”

Code Red:     “Unhealthy”
“Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”

Code Purple:     “Very Unhealthy ”
“Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.”

Code Maroon:     “Hazardous”
“Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.”

Recommendations:

(1)    Delaware needs to begin using an air quality reporting system that takes into account the combined effects of multiple pollutants, and the combined effects of air pollutants, temperature, and humidity;

(2)     Delaware needs to intervene more effectively to require air polluters to dial down their emissions during bad air episodes; and

(3)     Delaware needs to stop promoting activities that worsen air quality, such as the reopening of the Markell/Coons Refinery and the building of a new “301” freeway  The health of residents needs higher priority.

Do you agree?   Let Governor Markell know:  jack.markell@state.de.us, 800.292.9570

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